In the last several years, there’s been an increasing trend among employers in Connecticut and elsewhere to require low wage workers to sign non-competes. These agreements limit the ability of employees to move to similar jobs in nearby geographic areas.
While covenants must be “reasonable,” courts have upheld them against fast-food workers, eldercare assistants, hair stylists, undertakers, and others.
Connecticut is a state considered very friendly to non-compete agreements.
The Connecticut Trial Lawyer Association, the Connecticut AFL-CIO, and others are now working with members of the Connecticut legislature to limit the practice.
HB 6913, an act intended to prohibit employers from requiring certain employees from signing unfair covenants not to compete, has now passed out of the Labor Committee along party lines. It awaits further action in the legislature.
California has enacted an outright ban on such non-competes.
Interestingly, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Department recently found that such agreements may be partly to blame for flat wages among U.S. workers.
Under the current Connecticut law, non-compete agreements are considered binding unless a court rules otherwise on the issues of geographical areas and time periods.
Some employers are pushing back – saying that non-competes protect their investment in employee training. Republicans – at least on the legislature’s Labor Committee – agree.
Does HB 6913 have a chance of passage?
Most observers are saying it does. You can be sure we will monitor the bill’s progress and report back later this spring.
If you’re an employer and have questions about labor and employment law, consider calling on the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Connecticut. We do one thing and one thing only – we are an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys has over 20 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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